John "Omega" Williams
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STAR TRADER'S LUCK
Review and Overview by Omega
2009

Found plying the spacelanes we have a interesting variant on the Print-n-Play game. This one being a papercraft custom dice game by Jorge Arroyo from 2009. In this game you play an interstellar merchant travelling from planet to planet buying and selling goods. Star Traders Luck is also interesting in that it can be played with both many players or played solitaire. ***NOTE: Commentary and notes will be denoted thusly.***

The game comes in a single 4page PDF of about 1.2megs in file size. The PDF contails the rules, Trade Chart and the templates for the 6 dice that each player will need. 5 Goods dice and 1 Police dice. You print out the 6-sided dice to whatever size you like, assemble them and then print out the Trade Chart and you are essentially ready to go. Rules are as follows.

GOAL: Become the richest player by game end.
GAMEPLAY: After determining who goes first, the active player takes their actions and then play moves to the next player who took less time, or the player to the left of the current in cases of a tie. This can lead to a player who has spent little active time getting two or more turns in a row till they catch up.

Decide on game length. 25 days for a short session and 50 for a normal one. Each player starts with 10 credits.

Players perform the following steps. (Skipping step 1 on the first turn of play.)
STEP 1 - TRAVEL: The current player decides how much time they will spend travelling, 1-3 days. The longer the travel the larger the destination planet. 1=Small, 2=Medium, 3=Big. Alternately a player may opt to follow a player that just traveled before them, heading to the same planet as that player, but taking 1 extra day to get there. If this option is taken then the player will find the same goods on that planet as was rolled up by the previous visitor.

STEP 2 - DETERMINE AVAILIBLE GOODS & PRICES: Goods come in 5 diffrent types, Food, Water, Robots, Medicine, and Gems. Food has two faces on the dice and is the cheapest good in the game while Gems are the most valuable. The player rolls a number of Goods dice determined by the plaet size. Small=3, Medium=4, Big=5. At least one of the rolls must be kept. The remainder can be re-rolled. This can be done 3 times, with the results of the 3rd try kept and this now determines the quantity and value of goods on that world as reffrenced on the Trade table provided. Buying and selling costs 1 day time. Certain cargos are worth substantially more than others.
IE: You are on a small planet and roll and keep 3 Robot results. On that planet you can buy up to 3 cargo of robots for 6 credits each, or sell your own robot cargo for 6 credits.
You can only have one type of cargo in your ship, up to the max of 5, at a time in the base game and cannot buy more till you sell what you have. Keep track of what price you purchased your current cargo for as it may be important later.

ILLEGAL GOODS: If a type of good is not present on the planet you are visiting. Then that good is Illegal there. You can try to sell it at that wold for double what you bought it for. But must roll the Police dice. If you get a Police result then your illegal goods are confiscated.

GAME END: The game ends when everyone has used up the allotted time. The player with the most credits wins.

OPTIONAL RULES are also provided.
FREE BUYING & SELLING: You may buy goods on a planet even if you allready have cargo, as long as you have some space on board. You do not have to sell all your goods on a planet.

EXPANDING CARGO BAY: Ships instead start with 3 cargo space, 4 if playing a short game, but can purchase more cargo bays to omprove their capacity by 1 at the cost of 1 day and 5x the ships current cargo limit.

Star Traders Luck is a very fun game that allows for several diffrent styles of play. Risk takers can try for better re-rolls and larger hauls at more distant planets, while more cautious merchants can putter along with shorter turn-around times. And the truely daring can risk big losses and massive gains from playing the Black Market. The rules are not overly complex and it takes little effort to grasp the basics and get going. The nature of the game also makes it very portable and if you are wanting to be quiet then the cardstock dice make for a near silent play when rolled!
The game did not originally have the option to follow other players to worlds and it is a good addition that allows an enterprising player to capitalize on a bountiful world that happens to be in need of what he or she has in stock.
The random nature of the rolls is balanced out by the amount of control a player can apply to the results. Re-rolls mean that you have a choice of what is or isn't on a planet and can thus try to shift the balance well in your favour. Thus the game is not totally at the whims of Fate.
The optional rules, some of which I suggested, add more flexibility in play style and give a better feel of actually being a trader hauling cargo from world to world. Upgrading ships cargo also lends a sense of success and progress.
Lastly the game plays in solitaire mode remarkably well. Set goals, take risks and play at your own speed whenever you want.

If you are looking for a quick and easy to play economic game with some options for the daring smuggler, then give this a try. It is free and relatively easy to assemble. And if you have the cash then there is now a set for sale from Ramalamas made from wooden etched dice, complete with a wooden storage box and an etched wooden board!

ADDENDUM: Currently in development is a new Pirates & Bounty Hunters expansion that ramps up the player interaction by introducing ship-to-ship combat, pirate raids, and the chance to send those pesky smugglers off to jail for a bit!
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Jorge Arroyo
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Thanks for posting a review I'm glad you enjoyed the game.

Just wanted to add a quick note about the small rule changes introduced in the latest version of the rules

- The 3 re-roll limit is gone, so you can re-roll until no more dice are available (3 total rolls on small planets, 4 on medium planets and 5 on big planets)

- You can now buy cargo without having to sell your old cargo as long as both are of the same type.

- You're not forced to start on a big planet. You must travel on the first turn too.

They're not really big changes, but I think they do make sense and (especially the first) help make the game a bit less random.

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John "Omega" Williams
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Thanks. Its been a fun game to play through. And of course I tend to gravitate to any game that allows solo play.

The reroll up to planet size does allow more leeway and control of the rolls it seems.

If a trader picks up say 2 Robots on Planet X for 9 each then picks up 3 more on Planet Y for 6 each, then travels to Planet Z and finds its illegal there. How much would it all sell for? 2x9 and 2x6 each respectively?

The ability to choose your staring destination world size sounds good.
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Jorge Arroyo
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My sentiments exactly about solo play

Abut your question. It was raised on another thread and I think the most logical solution is to use the price for each part separately. So, yes, in your case you'd get 2x9=18c per unit on the first part of the cargo and 2x6c per unit on the second part. As you're actually noting down the cargo per trip separately it's not hard to just add a "+" sign or something to the second cargo to denote the fact that it is being added to
the old cargo instead of replacing it...

I'm still tempted by the option to use the cheaper price, it's simpler but doesn't seem very fair. Using the greater one is out because it can be abused.
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Ryan Keane
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maka wrote:
Thanks for posting a review :) I'm glad you enjoyed the game.

Just wanted to add a quick note about the small rule changes introduced in the latest version of the rules

- The 3 re-roll limit is gone, so you can re-roll until no more dice are available (3 total rolls on small planets, 4 on medium planets and 5 on big planets)

- You can now buy cargo without having to sell your old cargo as long as both are of the same type.

- You're not forced to start on a big planet. You must travel on the first turn too.

They're not really big changes, but I think they do make sense and (especially the first) help make the game a bit less random.



I can't seem to find the updated rules pdf. I just see 1.04 which still has 3 roll limit and big planet start. I like dumarest123's version of the dice and player sheets. I think I'll use those, but not with the expansion rules yet (no missiles/shield or pirate dice).

A few ideas I have:
1. Home planet: At the start of the game, roll all 5 dice, no rerolls. This is the home planet all players start on without travelling. Any player may choose to spend 1 day to buy 1 type of good, up to the number available on that planet.

2. Traveling to planets on other players' turns: The active player (least # of days) spends 1-3 days to travel to their choice of planet, roll/reroll dice for goods, and spend 1 day each to sell and/or buy, as normal. Any other player may immediately spend 2-4 days (the number the active player spent + 1) to travel to that planet, and spend 1 day each to sell and/or buy. Thematically, it takes a day hanging around in the bars to hear about the new planet and then you can immediately head over to it. So all players are playing during each "turn" but the active player gets to determine the planet size and rerolls. This rule removes the option of traveling to the same planet on your "turn."

3. Players may have more than 1 type of good. As a buy action (1 day), a player may purchase technology to allow them to hold 2 types of goods in their cargo. Mark this with another counter on the 2nd spot of cargo hold track. May purchase again on another turn to upgrade to hold 3 types of goods, and so on up to being able to hold all 5 types of goods. Not sure how much this should cost each time.

4. Set price for selling illegal goods: Illegal goods sell for 50% more than the "1" price, rounded up (8, 11, 20, 23, 36) as opposed to the following spreads, depending on how much you bought them for (2/4/6/8/10, 4/6/8/12/14, 6/8/12/18/26, 10/16/22/26/30, 20/24/30/38/48). This makes illegal goods you bought 2 of sell at about the same price in both versions, but selling 3-5 illegal goods (bigger risk) is more profitable but selling 1 illegal good (less risk) is less profitable. But more importantly, you now don't have to track how much you paid for the goods.
 
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John "Omega" Williams
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I have 1.04 and 05.

Here is a link to 05.

http://george.makasoft.net/StarTradersLuck-Rules.pdf

and the expansion

http://george.makasoft.net/StarTradersLuck-Expansion-Rules.p...
 
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